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World War 3 fears could be realised if China, India aggression continues. Deputy director at The Asia Program Michael Kugelman warned as China is more militarily powerful than India, the Indian government may take more covert steps to level the playing field. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Kugelman said India could cause disruption in Pakistan by sponsoring aggressors rather than face China directly with their own military.
Mr Kugelman said: “The Indian government is under a lot of pressure to retaliate for the loss of lives of 20 Indian soldiers at the hands of Chinese PLA forces.
“I would argue that India has relatively few military options.
“That is another reason why I don’t think we should worry about escalation.”
Despite this, Mr Kugelman noted the ways India could retaliate to China’s aggression.
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He said: “India could respond covertly by sponsoring attacks on Chinese interests in Pakistan.
“China has a major component of its belt and road initiative, called the China Pakistan economic quota, in Pakistan.
“You have got a lot of China investment projects and Chinese workers in Pakistan.
“I could certainly see India providing support, sponsorship or some other kind of support to anti-state actors in Pakistan that would be willing to carry out attacks on Chinese targets.”
Mr Kugelman admitted this was just a possibility and India may choose to economically hit back at China.
He said: “The Indian government is a Conservative nationalistic one.
“It is very difficult politically for India’s government to just shrug off calls for India to punish economically.
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“However, what does not work in India’s favour is that China is the much larger economy.
“If you start having India reduce or cut commercial ties with China or boycott Chinese goods, that could hurt the Indian economy more than the Chinese.
“This is simply because the Indian economy is much smaller, and more dependent on China’s economy.
“India’s economy has been struggling for quite some time, even well before the pandemic.”
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